The Alexander Hawkins Ensemble, last night, inspired. Music like this takes you to places in your memory and your mind that you either forget existed or had never quite found the right way to get in there or the courage to follow. Music like this gets into the bones and finds the rhythm you’ve always had but haven’t been tapping into nearly regularly enough. Head, toes, heels, knees, ankles, neck, fingers, back, bum, ribs jerking about entirely independently of one another. Delighting with the sounds of: Javier Carmona who did things with his drums and his percussion that filled me with uncontrollable laughter which I just managed to keep inside my skin; Otto Fischer on a strange electric guitar, who nearly fell over whilst tapping his feet on a whole board of electronic delights and weirdness that we couldn’t see but could hear the most insane and surprising sounds coming out of . . . somewhere . . . somehow . . . timed with fingers and strings and . . . ; Dominic Lash on double bass – or was it double bass on Dominic Lash? They Were One, oh yes; Orphy Robinson on his steel pan – when did you ever hear a psychodelic steel pan inside an experimental jazz setting? The answer is probably never or rarely, so get yourself down to hear these people soon because Orphy was spectacular; Hannah Oh So Talented Marshall with her cello, the woman who has made cello mingle in my mind with other words like orgasm and happiness and incredible and brave and Beckett and poetry and charming and trumpet and brass band and . . . the list won’t stop; and of course, AH himself whose fingers moved faster down those keys than a nose pickin’ fingerin’ kid on coke.
And it was all at the Vortex Jazz Club which, despite my initial reservations a few years ago, is much more appropriately situated in Dalston’s Gillett Square than it was caught up in the pretensions of what Church Street has sincerely become.
p.s. Javier Carmona’s link (above) has some of the best music, IMHO, coming out of these guys; especially if you want to taste Ms Marshall’s saw or cello or hair-playing… how does she do it!